Real estate investor Stephen Quazzo is financing a $13 million helicopter takeoff and landing site for downtown Chicago. The 10-acre site will feature a "vertiport" that will also allow other vertical takeoff aircraft to use the facility. "There's been absolutely nowhere to land helicopters within the city unless you're the president," Quazzo said. "What struck us was the strength and depth of the demand."
The Federal Aviation Administration is considering a request from Icon Aircraft for an exemption to weight rules for light sport aircraft. The aircraft manufacturer is seeking permission for an extra 250 pounds of weight for the Icon A5 amphibious aircraft. "Icon says the A5 requires a max takeoff weight of 1,680 pounds because of structural changes that will make the airplane spin resistant under Part 23 certification standards," writes blogger Stephen Pope.
Lyle Flagg, a past president of Sun 'n Fun, died at his home in Florida on May 21 at the age of 85. Flagg was a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association and the Florida Air Museum. He also belonged to an honorary aviation fraternity called the Quiet Birdmen.
Sam DeBartolo, 16, is preparing for his first solo flight after taking flight lessons for three years at the Beverly Flight Center in Massachusetts. "I just love being up there in the sky," he said. "It was so thrilling to be flying for the first time." A student at Swampscott High School, DeBartolo plans to get his private pilot license when he turns 17.
President Barack Obama's budget plan includes user fees for aircraft of $100 per takeoff and landing. Some aviation groups are protesting the fees. "We could have as many as 10 to 20 take off and landing per aircraft a day at a $100 a piece that could be as much as $2,000 per unit," said Scott Heinen, owner of Heinen Brothers Agra Service.